Book Two in the Internationally Bestselling Mirror Visitor Quartet
WINNER of the 2021 Prix Albertine Jeunesse
In book two of the bestselling Mirror Visitor Quartet, “the plots multiply, the world of the Arks gains depth, details abound, and the story envelops the reader as the pages fly by.” (Le Monde des ados)
When Ophelia is promoted to Vice-storyteller by Farouk, the ancestral Spirit of Pole, she finds herself unexpectedly thrust into the public spotlight. her gift—the ability to read the secret history of objects—is now known by all, and there can be no greater threat to the nefarious denizens of her icy adopted home than this.
Beneath the golden rafters of Pole's capitol, she discovers that the only person she may be able to trust is Thorn, her enigmatic and emotionally distant fiancé. As one influential courtier after another disappears, Ophelia again finds herself unintentionally implicated in an investigation that will lead her to see beyond Pole's many illusions to the heart of a formidable truth.
Dabos's follow-up to A Winter's Promise finds protagonist Ophelia a mirror-hopper who can divine objects' histories via touch still on an interplanetary shard called the Pole. She is awaiting her arranged marriage to Thorn, after which the couple will inherit each other's abilities. Thorn hopes that combining his phenomenal memory with Ophelia's gift will help him "read" an ancient, untranslatable book that has captured the interest of the Pole's ancestral spirit, Farouk, who has the power to revoke Thorn's bastard status and grant him nobility. Duplicitous aristocrats already consider Ophelia a threat, forcing her to join Farouk's court in exchange for protection, but the impending wedding triggers anonymous death threats demanding a breakup. Meanwhile, guests of the Pole's impenetrable embassy, Clairdelune, start vanishing, while mysterious flashbacks explore the genesis of Earth's planetary shards and their ruling immortal Spirits. Escalating stakes ratchet tension while a somewhat leisurely pace allows readers to savor Dabos's spectacular settings, exquisitely rendered characters, and the ever-evolving relationships that bind them. Ages 14 up.